An Alexandria, Virginia, gym terminated the membership of white nationalist Richard Spencer last week after he was confronted by a Georgetown University professor who recognised him and lambasted him over his alt-right views.

Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, said she was working out at Old Town Sport&Health when she spotted Spencer, president of the white-nationalist National Policy Institute.

Fellow gym patrons had told Fair how Spencer had been seen at the gym earlier that week, she said. When she recognised him as the man working out on the gym's second floor, she approached him. At first, she said, Spencer denied who he was.

"Are you Richard Spencer?" she asked him, describing the encounter in an online post. "No. I am not," he replied.

Advertisement

"I said, 'Of course you are, so not only are you a Nazi - you are a cowardly Nazi,' " Fair said in an interview, invoking a common characterisation of Spencer.

"I just want to say to you, I'm sick of your crap - that this country belongs [to people like you.] . . . As a woman, I find your statements to be particularly odious; moreover, I find your presence in this gym to be unacceptable, your presence in this town to be unacceptable."

Spencer has denied he is a Nazi. During a white-nationalist conference in November, Spencer was seen on video shouting "Hail Trump!" as crowd members replied with Nazi salutes.

In comments to BuzzFeed, which was first to report the encounter and the termination of Spencer's membership, Spencer said he denied his identity because he wanted to avoid a confrontation.

"I said no because I wanted her to go away," he told the outlet.

Spencer could not immediately be reached for comment today. But he provided an image of his termination letter to BuzzFeed and told the outlet he didn't know why the gym revoked his membership. He described himself as a "well-behaved member" who strayed from controversy.

He told BuzzFeed he was considering fighting back against the gym, but the story did not specify the type of action he might take.

Sport&Health Clubs did not respond to emailed questions. When asked by phone whether Spencer's membership has been suspended, an employee who identified himself as a manager at the Old Town gym replied "no comment".

Advertisement

For Alexandria residents, the incident marked another chapter in a tense relationship with the public figure, who from his Old Town think tank office advocates the alt-right, a small, far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state.

Spencer was punched in the face in downtown Washington, DC, on Inauguration Day by an anti-Trump protester and most recently was seen leading tiki-torch-wielding demonstrators in a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest of plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.